Lizzie Velasquez is no stranger to cyber-bullying. She was born with a disorder called neonatal progeroid syndrome, which gives her an aged appearance and prevents her from gaining weight. It also caused her to go blind in one eye. The disease is incredibly rare, with only two other people in the world (including herself) having it.
Unfortunately for Lizzie, she has been a constant target of online bullying. People use her face as the punchline for jokes and mocking others. She was called the "ugliest woman in the world" at age 17 in an 8 second YouTube video. There were thousands of comments telling Lizzie to do the world a favor and kill herself.
Most recently, her picture was used in an extremely rude meme that flew around the Internet faster than you can imagine.
Lizzie, who's 27 years old, wasn't phased by this meme; she's been the target of bullying for years and she doesn't let it define her. But she took the opportunity to stand up for those who have not yet reached the level of confidence she has.
"I've seen a ton of memes like this all over [Facebook] recently," Velasquez wrote. "I'm writing this post not as someone who is a victim but as someone who is using their voice. Yes, it's very late at night as I type this but I do so as a reminder that the innocent people that are being put in these memes are probably up just as late scrolling through Facebook and feeling something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human. I ask that you keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger. At the time you might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite."
Lizzie Velasquez has received nothing but support after her complete call out of cyber-bullying. More than 30,000 people gave words of encouragement and support for Lizzie's empowering message.
Velasquez has written books about her struggles and triumphs surrounding her appearance. She has embraced her life and is now encouraging others to do the same thing.
Share this if you believe Lizzie is beautiful just the way she is!